Dower's 21/17 Double-Double Powers Gonzaga Past Bryant
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Sam Dower had 21 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to lead No. 15 Gonzaga past Bryant 100-76 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
The 6-foot-9 senior, making his eighth start for the Bulldogs, shot 8 of 13 from the field and posted his second career double-double.
Gerard Coleman, a transfer from Providence, scored 15 points for Gonzaga before a sellout crowd of 6,000 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Junior guards Gary Bell Jr. and Kevin Pangos added 14 apiece, and Przemek Karnowski had 10 points despite playing only 12 minutes due to foul trouble.
Dyami Starks scored a career-high 35 points for Bryant, including 29 in the second half. Alex Francis added 13, giving him 1,503 in his career.
Nine players scored for Gonzaga.
Though the Zags lost their three top rebounders - including All-American big man Kelly Olynyk - from last season's 32-3 team, the Bulldogs outrebounded Bryant 39-30.
It was the first meeting between Gonzaga, defending West Coast Conference champions and picked by the league's coaches to repeat, and Bryant of the Northeast Conference. The NEC coaches tabbed Bryant to finish second in the conference in their preseason poll.
The Bulldogs shot 35.6 from beyond the arc during their 19-12 season a year ago but made just one of their 12 first-half attempts as Gonzaga built a 49-28 lead at the break. Bryant finished 3 of 20 from long range.
Starks, who shot 40.8 percent on 3-pointers last season, missed his first five attempts and was 3 of 9 for the game.
The Zags shot 54 percent from the floor and turned the ball over just eight times.
Gonzaga jumped out to a 7-0 lead and steadily built the margin throughout the first half, closing on a 5-0 run. The Bulldogs increased the cushion to as many as 30 in the second half.
Gonzaga hit 21 of 28 free throws, while Bryant was 18 for 23 from the line.